The Atlee Junior League softball team was eliminated from the World Series championship match on Saturday after submitting an inappropriate photo on social networking. According to this Richmond-Times Dispatch, Little League officials were made aware of the picture, which shows several members of the group giving the middle finger to the camera, on Saturday morning.
Soon the decision came to disqualify the group, which is composed of women ages 12-14, from the softball competition.Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain released the following statement to the Times-Dispatch describing the committee's conclusion:
“After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League’s Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League® International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants.”
Because of the disqualification, Kirkland American has been given Atlee's place in the championship match.Atlee director Scott Currie was clear in saying that the photograph reflected poor sportsmanship, but wasn’t convinced the post was enough to “justify the disqualification.”
Someone got a hold of it. I guess they ran it through to Williamsport,” Currie said. “Williamsport chose to disqualify us.”Coach Chris Mardigian added that the photograph was in reaction to the therapy Atlee players obtained from members of the Kirkland American team during their trip. Kirkland functions as the host city for the championship.That may explain his team's activities, but it does not justify them. It's really an unfortunate way to get a team's memorable journey to end. However, it's also a great lesson about the importance of making good decisions and behaving responsibly at all times.